Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Which dremel/rotary tool do you use?

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Which dremel/rotary tool do you use?

Old 04-12-20, 07:27 PM
  #1  
Narhay
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Narhay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Posts: 3,202
Mentioned: 95 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 739 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 174 Times in 117 Posts
Which dremel/rotary tool do you use?

I have been considering a dremel or rotary tool for years. Which dremel do you use and which bits for our hobby?
Narhay is offline  
Likes For Narhay:
Old 04-12-20, 08:08 PM
  #2  
Doug Fattic 
framebuilder
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Niles, Michigan
Posts: 590
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 160 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 178 Times in 92 Posts
Originally Posted by Narhay View Post
I have been considering a dremel or rotary tool for years. Which dremel do you use and which bits for our hobby?
How much money are you willing to spend and what are you wanting to do? I use a jeweler's saw and hand files, a battery powered Dremel as well as a much more powerful one with a power cord. And I also have a Foredom with a separate hand piece connected to a powerful motor with a rotary cord. The foot pedal controls its RPMs. If one can afford it that is the best tool. I use mine to cut blank lugs into shapes. So again the question comes back to you, what do you want to do with it?
Doug Fattic is offline  
Old 04-12-20, 08:11 PM
  #3  
thinktubes 
weapons-grade bolognium
 
thinktubes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Across the street from Chicago
Posts: 5,113

Bikes: Battaglin Cromor, Ciocc Designer 84, Schwinn Superior 1981

Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 591 Post(s)
Liked 407 Times in 229 Posts
+1 Foredom
thinktubes is offline  
Old 04-12-20, 08:14 PM
  #4  
RobbieTunes 
Half drunk? Finish!
 
RobbieTunes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Very Southern Indiana
Posts: 26,353
Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 378 Post(s)
Liked 937 Times in 593 Posts
A cheap imitator from Aldi.
__________________

I have unfinished business.

RobbieTunes is offline  
Old 04-12-20, 08:16 PM
  #5  
iab
Senior Member
 
iab's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: NW Burbs, Chicago
Posts: 10,171
Mentioned: 130 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1779 Post(s)
Liked 575 Times in 307 Posts
We have a Foredom at work. I like it a lot.
iab is offline  
Old 04-12-20, 08:17 PM
  #6  
Bigbus
Senior Member
 
Bigbus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Central West Coast
Posts: 592

Bikes: In Flux

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 179 Post(s)
Liked 92 Times in 72 Posts
I've had a Dremel buried in the tool box for years that I never use. I always come up with something else that's closer to the surface of the bin
Bigbus is offline  
Old 04-12-20, 08:22 PM
  #7  
Pompiere
Senior Member
 
Pompiere's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 2,613

Bikes: 1984 Miyata 310, 1986 Schwinn Sierra, 2011 Jamis Quest, 1980 Peugeot TH8 Tandem, 1992 Performance Parabola, 1987 Ross Mt. Hood, 1988 Schwinn LeTour, 1988 Trek 400T

Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 254 Post(s)
Liked 69 Times in 51 Posts
Mine is a corded model 395 with 5 speeds. I've had it for 20+ years, although I don't use it a lot on bikes. It is nice for cutting cables, especially compression-less shift cables with the length-wise strands. You can occasionally find similar models at garage or estate sales.
With the improvement in batteries lately, the new cordless models look interesting. Ryobi has one with a flexible shaft that uses my cordless drill battery.
Pompiere is offline  
Old 04-12-20, 08:43 PM
  #8  
The Golden Boy 
Extraordinary Magnitude
 
The Golden Boy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Waukesha WI
Posts: 12,103

Bikes: 1978 Trek TX700; 1978/79 Trek 736; 1984 Specialized Stumpjumper Sport; 1984 Schwinn Voyageur SP; 1985 Trek 620; 1985 Trek 720; 1986 Trek 400 Elance; 1987 Schwinn High Sierra; 1990 Miyata 1000LT

Mentioned: 75 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2015 Post(s)
Liked 331 Times in 231 Posts
My Grandfather left me an old Craftsman- made by Dremel. I also had a Dremel, made by Dremel, but that burned out on me- so I combined all the parts into the Craftsman case.
__________________
*Recipient of the 2006 Time Magazine "Person Of The Year" Award*

Commence to jigglin’ huh?!?!

"But hey, always love to hear from opinionated amateurs." -says some guy to Mr. Marshall.
The Golden Boy is offline  
Old 04-12-20, 08:48 PM
  #9  
mstateglfr 
Sunshine
 
mstateglfr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 10,390

Bikes: '18 class built steel roadbike, '19 Fairlight Secan, '87 Schwinn Prelude, Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara Trionfo, '18 Diamondback Syncr

Mentioned: 93 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4046 Post(s)
Liked 1,023 Times in 654 Posts
I have some $30 Aldi one that came with a junk ton of bits n bobs.

I don't use it for cycling...at all. Curious what a dremel is used for. I could see cutting housing, I guess?...I just have housing clips for that and cables though. The dremel seems like a hassle for a quick snip at the workbench.

Maybe I'm missing other uses?
mstateglfr is offline  
Old 04-12-20, 09:20 PM
  #10  
elcraft
elcraft
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Greater Boston
Posts: 664
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 75 Post(s)
Liked 22 Times in 21 Posts
Being a goldsmith, I use Foredom and Pfingst (often disguised as a “House Brand”) rotary tools because they are the standard in the trade. But the basic unit now costs around $200, it is a bit high for most to start with. I have used a Dremel and a Ryobi to good effects, though. Were I starting with a limited budget,I might look at the Harbor Freight version. This would be for limited use trimming cables and their housings and some light rubber wheel abrasive grinding/ polishing.
elcraft is offline  
Old 04-12-20, 09:51 PM
  #11  
TakingMyTime
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Los Alamitos, Calif.
Posts: 1,882

Bikes: Trek 7.4 FX, 5200 & 7700

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 609 Post(s)
Liked 329 Times in 217 Posts
I have a Dremel with a ton of wheels and several attachments. I also have a B&D that my neighbor gave me. Both are corded. I have cut-off wheels, polishing pads, grinding attachments of every grit, size and shape. I've had them for at least 10 years. And I never use them.
TakingMyTime is offline  
Old 04-12-20, 09:56 PM
  #12  
Classtime 
Senior Member
 
Classtime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 2,241

Bikes: 81 Medici, 84 Centurion Turbo, 2011 Richard Sachs, '90 Alpina Team, 85 TREK 620, 2011 Milwaukee Road

Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 840 Post(s)
Liked 224 Times in 163 Posts
I picked up a corded two speed in a grey box with bits 30 years ago at a pawn shop. Get a cylinder full of cut off wheels and use them on cable housing, slicing off bolts, and notching fenders. I used it once to put a super shine on a stem for my daughters fixie after I had removed the black anodizing. No more battery tools for me.
__________________
I don't do: disks, tubeless, e-shifting, or bead head nymphs.
Classtime is offline  
Old 04-12-20, 10:32 PM
  #13  
unworthy1
Stop reading my posts!
 
unworthy1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 10,728
Mentioned: 53 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 522 Post(s)
Liked 169 Times in 137 Posts
I own 2 corded Dremels (the older is model 200, newer is I think a model 3000), and they both perform about the same. I was using the old one today, matter of fact, and yes on a bike. I have lots of bits from various sources. Some like the thin cut-off wheels are so quick to break they are virually disposable. I will someday inherit my Mother's Foredom (will be my saddest day but they are impressive tools!) which she has used, and my late Father too, for decades!
Dremel parts are easy to find and repairs not much trouble (I have made repairs on the old one). It/they may sit unused for weeks/months but when I need it I'm glad it's there!
One optional part I was glad to have spent for is the hand-tightened 3-jaw chuck, no need for the little stamped spanner or swapping out different collets for the different shaft diameters you will find, it's worth ever penny I think!

Last edited by unworthy1; 04-12-20 at 10:36 PM.
unworthy1 is offline  
Old 04-12-20, 10:37 PM
  #14  
verktyg 
verktyg
 
verktyg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 3,351

Bikes: Current favorites: 1988 Peugeot Birraritz, 1984 Gitane Super Corsa, 1981 Bianchi Campione Del Mondo, 1992 Paramount OS, 1990 Bianchi Mondiale, 1988 Colnago Technos, 1985 RalieghUSA Team Pro, 1973 Holdsworth

Mentioned: 159 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 712 Post(s)
Liked 352 Times in 236 Posts
Foredom +

I bought my Foredom Flex Shaft Tool back in 1972, WOW 48 years ago!

It cost me a fortune. I've replaced the drive cable a number of times.

I don't use it that much any more but it's great with carbide burrs and mounted abrasive points.

Hanging on the wall by the door.



verktyg
__________________
Things aren't always what they seem... Don't believe everything you think!

Chas. ;-)
verktyg is offline  
Old 04-13-20, 01:35 AM
  #15  
dddd
Ride, Wrench, Swap, Race
 
dddd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Northern California
Posts: 7,323

Bikes: Cheltenham-Pederson racer, Boulder F/S Paris-Roubaix, Varsity racer, '52 Christophe, '62 Continental, '92 Merckx, '75 Limongi, '76 Presto, '72 Gitane SC, '71 Schwinn SS, etc.

Mentioned: 100 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 840 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 245 Times in 191 Posts
I mostly eschew use of a Dremel for jobs where simpler tools like cable/housing cutters, saws and files are quicker and need no expensive consumable bits.
In this regard I especially avoid getting Dremel grinding dust anywhere near open ends of my new cable housing's perfectly clean liners.

But there are exceptions that arise, such as the cut-off wheel that allowed me to cut a certain car repair job's (Town Car power windows) labor hours in half.
I was able to just enter access ports in the door panels with the Dremel and shorten some M6 threaded studs, which meant not having to remove the window glass while replacing the window regulators. The fragile cut-off wheels were the unlikely best tool for the job. Also good for slotting a stripped screw head if you can access it.

Mostly I use the stone wheels, 1/8" wide and about an inch in diameter, part number 8215. This wheel cuts things like steel sprocket teeth tips, beveling for enhanced shifting or cutting the sharp corner off the driven side of a well-used freewheel's teeth allowing use of brand-new chain without skipping. Better yet it allows doing this without even removing the rear wheel from the bike, as long as the diameter of the wheel is worn down to a slightly smaller diameter that is.
The 8215 stone wheel is the one tool that I usually leave in my Moto Tool's collet.

The same stone wheel is also good for massaging any areas of chain interference such as protruding axle-locating hardware or claw-hanger retaining nuts and bolts, the better to be able to shorten the axle's drive-side overhang for a stronger axle and a stronger wheel.
And when I've needed to remove a chain connecting link having one of those Shimano special pins, this stone wheel also makes short work of taking the end of the pin completely off below the surface of the sideplate (the whole link gets discarded).

Where shaping of aluminum is needed, such as increasing the adjustment range of a Suntour rear derailer's B-tension lug, I use a 1/4" oblong or 1/8" cylindrical carbide cutter bit that gets into tight radius spaces and won't clog with soft metal like a stone always will. This also works great for re-shaping a modern aluminum derailer hanger bracket for use on another modern frame that it wasn't intended for, (assuming you can find an appropriate candidate for surgery).

But there's so many jobs where simpler files and saws or a bench grinder are better and safer, sometimes faster and usually less expensive than the Dremel.
I've seen a literal shower of needle-sharp steel shards produced by a Dremel carbide bit's cutting edges, any one or one hundred of which could end up in someone's skin or in their eye.
And I had my baby finger sliced by a Dremel steel cutoff wheel that grabbed the piece of plastic I was cutting (which I still remember from 32 years ago).
dddd is offline  
Likes For dddd:
Old 04-13-20, 02:32 AM
  #16  
canklecat
Me duelen las nalgas
 
canklecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 11,338

Bikes: Centurion Ironman, Trek 5900, Univega Via Carisma, Globe Carmel

Mentioned: 183 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3597 Post(s)
Liked 1,126 Times in 747 Posts
Dremel cordless (although I need a new battery) and Wen corded. I hardly use them so I don't like to pay much. The Wen corded was a bargain.

Maybe once or twice a year I do use the various grinding heads and polishing doodads. But I've never been able to make the cutoff wheels work. I end up shattering two or three of 'em trying to make a cut I could have done quicker with my Jagwire cable/housing cutter, which usually cuts so cleanly the cable housing doesn't need any touch up, or not much. I've had good luck with cutoff wheels on bar stock, but not on cables and cable housing. I know I'm doing something wrong but I'm not motivated to try again. It's just aggravating. The snips work fine.

Ditto, manual files and saws for most jobs a moto-tool tries to do.

Only cordless tool I've ever had that was a must is my 20-year-old Bosch drill. The handset has outlived two batteries, and I need to order replacements. I've used the heck out of that thing, including as a cutoff tool in a pinch when I didn't have a hacksaw.
canklecat is offline  
Old 04-13-20, 02:38 AM
  #17  
randyjawa 
Senior Member
 
randyjawa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada - burrrrr!
Posts: 9,903

Bikes: 1958 Rabeneick 120D, 1968 Legnano Gran Premio, Rocky Mountain Cardiac, 196? Torpado Professional

Mentioned: 166 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 809 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 331 Times in 231 Posts
Bought at a yard sale for $2.00 CND and, believe it or not, another one came along the same day, a bit larger and not Dremel but, sadly, the seller insisted on five bucks. Still got the Dremel and gave to other one to B4H, as I recall...
__________________
"98% of the bikes I buy are projects".
randyjawa is offline  
Old 04-13-20, 02:42 AM
  #18  
Trevtassie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Down Under
Posts: 1,568

Bikes: A steel framed 26" off road tourer from a manufacturer who thinks they are cool. Giant Anthem. Trek 720 Multiroad pub bike. 10 kids bikes all under 20". Assorted waifs and unfinished projects.

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 513 Post(s)
Liked 312 Times in 160 Posts
I use a Ryobi, seems to do the job. Got a big box from Aldi of accessories, of somewhat variable quality. But for cut off work I use the Dremel branded EZ-Lock discs and adaptor, nice quality discs that don't fly apart, well worth the money.
Trevtassie is offline  
Old 04-13-20, 04:29 AM
  #19  
Prowler 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Near Pottstown, PA: 30 NW of Philadelphia
Posts: 1,521

Bikes: 2 Trek Mtn, Cannondale R600 road, 6 vintage road bikes

Mentioned: 60 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 231 Post(s)
Liked 128 Times in 77 Posts
A few weeks ago I accidentally pulled my old Dremel off the bench. It missed the floor mat by an inch or so. Broke the Bakelite housing. It's a Dremel 100 that my father bought in the '60s. Sad day. I ended up buying a Dremel 4000 and I really like it. Good balance, much more powerful than the 100 and I like the variable speed much more than I expected. I'm still learning about what speeds to use where. Oh, all the bits and bobs from the 100 fit in the 4000 so I'm well set.

BTW Package deal at HomeDepot was better than the one on Amazon, counting content, shipping and taxes. And HD is on the way home from a trail I use a lot. Toofer.
Prowler is offline  
Old 04-13-20, 05:19 AM
  #20  
bark_eater 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Eastern Shore, MD
Posts: 889

Bikes: Road ready: 1993 Koga Miyata City Liner Touring Hybrid, 1989 Centurion Sport DLX, "I Blame GP" Bridgestone CB-1. Projects: Yea, I got a problem....

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 295 Post(s)
Liked 91 Times in 61 Posts
I've burnt out 3 of them over the years doing boatwork. Their kind of on the consumable side of things. I have 2 at the moment because I couldn't find #1 , and there was some little job that only a Dremil would do. I've used the cutoff wheels to do cable housings and trim the ends off of fender stays on the bike.
bark_eater is offline  
Old 04-13-20, 06:18 AM
  #21  
danders
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Portland Oregon
Posts: 19

Bikes: Fuji World

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Liked 6 Times in 3 Posts
Old single speed, cut off wheel mostly.
If your dremel ever runs but bit doesn't spin it is
likely just the shaft coupling.
danders is offline  
Old 04-13-20, 06:41 AM
  #22  
oneclick
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 267
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 101 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 94 Times in 63 Posts
Originally Posted by danders View Post
Old single speed, cut off wheel mostly.
If your dremel ever runs but bit doesn't spin it is
likely just the shaft coupling.
Which are:
a) too fragile
b) too expensive
oneclick is offline  
Old 04-13-20, 07:39 AM
  #23  
himespau 
Senior Member
 
himespau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 11,491
Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2047 Post(s)
Liked 551 Times in 321 Posts
I have an (I think) 8200 that I got a good deal on. With respect to bikes, I mainly use the stone for shaping things that need a little shaping and use the metal cutoff wheel for cable housing. My park cutters always smash the ends a little bit and then I have to hunt out the ice pick to open them up (and occasionally the file to clean the ends up). The cutting wheel goes through them like butter in little/no time. Not something I need often, but it makes life easier when it's there. I'm about to build another bike that'll have fenders. Last time I did that, I spend a couple hours with a hacksaw cutting down the struts once I was done. Looking forward to that being a much quicker job this time. My wife is trying to take up stained glass, so I got some disks for cutting glass and the flex neck so that she can try using it to cut under water. We'll see how that goes.
himespau is online now  
Old 04-13-20, 07:50 AM
  #24  
Phil_gretz
Journeyman Bike Commuter
 
Phil_gretz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 5,804

Bikes: '71 Jeunet 640, '74 Fuji Special Road Racer, '79 Peugeot PXN10LE, '88 Fuji Saratoga, '13 Motobecane Fantom29 HT, '16 Motobecane Turino Pro Disc, '16 Motobecane Gran Premio Elite, '18 Velobuild VB-R-022

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 939 Post(s)
Liked 550 Times in 315 Posts
The OP also asked about attachments/bits. For bike use, here's my list of rotary tool bits most frequently used:

- cut off wheel for cable housing - makes incredibly square and clean cuts
- large wire wheel - for removing surface rust or contamination
- buffing wheel - once in a while to buff something a little - usually I do this by hand

Now, I have two Dremels that are always plugged in and hanging beside my work bench. My oldest is a model 395 that I bought 25 years ago. It has served me well for so many projects - wood, metals, fabrication, grinding, etc. I've replaced the brushes and springs on that one.

My other is a newer model 395 Type 5 that I bought from a local Craigslist seller for $15. It's not as nicely made, and feels and sounds cheaper. It works, though.
Phil_gretz is offline  
Old 04-13-20, 08:54 AM
  #25  
thinktubes 
weapons-grade bolognium
 
thinktubes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Across the street from Chicago
Posts: 5,113

Bikes: Battaglin Cromor, Ciocc Designer 84, Schwinn Superior 1981

Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 591 Post(s)
Liked 407 Times in 229 Posts
While I use the cutting wheel for cables, I've found that it melts the plastic liner, so I need to immediately chase it with an awl, before the plastic cools.
thinktubes is offline  
Likes For thinktubes:

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.